In a celebration of Father’s Day this month, we bring you a series where we asked a few of our Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as well as their dads, about their journey to becoming one of America’s Sweethearts.
This is the month when we’ll take the time to honor the old man, pops, papa, father, ATM machine or, of course, daddy. Wanting to show a little love to those dedicated few who sat through countless hours of dance rehearsals and cheer competitions, we posed questions to several of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the men who helped raise them. Today, meet Veronica, her father Martin, and her stepfather Robert.
What do you remember about your relationship growing up as a dancer?
Veronica: Growing up, I had the best support system, times two! I had a loving father, whose support came from Albuquerque, N.M. And, I had an amazing stepfather who I could count on to always be in the crowd next to my mother’s side. More than likely, they were waving their hands in excitement to let me know they were there.
Martin: When Veronica was younger she just loved to dance around. I live in Albuquerque and try to visit as much as I can, but one fond memory I have is when her high school dance team performed a daddy-daughter dance during halftime. The timing was perfect because I just happened to visit her for that game and was able to dance with her. She has always been a natural when it comes to performing in front of people and things like that come easy for her. I, on the other hand, was so nervous to dance on that field. I think everything Veronica has done and will do in the future is a big deal to me. I’m so proud of her.
Robert: Growing up she was always in the spotlight. She loved performing with her pep squad in middle school, and when she started taking dance classes in high school, that is when I could see she had a passion for dancing. She always wanted to perform in front of people. I started telling her she would be a DCC the day her mom and I took her to go see the cheerleaders. She was so excited and couldn’t believe how pretty they were. I didn’t think it was a big deal until she continued to accomplish each goal. I knew it was only a matter of time before she would be off to Dallas.
What was the conversation like when you talked about trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?
Veronica: It’s pretty funny because when I was little, my stepdad told me I was going to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. After every new team I danced for, he would always jokingly ask me, “When are you going to cheer for my favorite team?” I know that my stepdad has always known that I wanted to cheer for the Cowboys and that one day I would audition. But, what he didn’t know was that he was the one person who fueled my courage. I remember our conversation was pretty short. It was me basically telling him my plans to audition and him saying, “ABOUT TIME!”
I told my dad that I was auditioning for the DCC when he came to my college graduation party. My graduation party was just a few days before I left for the first round of auditions. He asked me when I was leaving, and my response was “oh, this Saturday.” It came to him as a surprise, but I know he was excited; the Dallas Cowboys are his favorite team also. I guess Cowboys blood runs in the family.
Martin: When Veronica told me she was auditioning, I was excited, nervous and scared for my daughter but at the same time I knew she would accomplish her goal. I had all my faith in her. When Veronica sets her mind on a goal she is going to do all it takes to make it a reality.
Robert: I was getting ready to deploy to Iraq when she told me she was going to try out for the DCC. I really wanted to be there for auditions, I’m always at every audition, so before I left, I told her to just be herself and no matter what happened I was a proud dad. I had no doubt in my mind that she would make the team. She is a go-getter.
Have you been surprised with what goes into being a DCC, from the tryouts to the games to the appearances?
Martin: I’ve been very surprised about everything it takes to become a DCC. She keeps me updated with her recent appearances and I love hearing about her workouts and traveling; it’s no surprise why she is always busy. On game days when I watch her dance, I see the long hours the team puts in, but all of her hard work shows when she performs on the field.
Robert: I’ve been a Cowboys fan since I was little so I know that when you make the DCC, you are a part of an elite dance team and they expect the best. I was a little surprised after watching the CMT show, but when Veronica danced in the NBA, I saw the commitment it required then as well. I knew she could handle it.
How does your dad and stepdad handle seeing you perform, not to mention posing in calendars, with millions watching you?
Veronica: With my dad, because he lives in a different state, I honestly think he is too busy soaking up the memories to feel anything but pure happiness and pride in me. And with my stepdad, it’s not his first rodeo; he has been to countless performances and games. I think even if I fell on my face in front of millions, he would just cheer louder. I can truly say this, though, when they both watch me dance, they are happy to see me doing what I love and living my dream. I know they cherish each moment that I’m performing because I cherish each moment that I get to share this experience with them.
Martin: I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan since I was a young boy, so I have no difficulty knowing millions are watching my daughter perform. It just makes me that much more proud of having the honor of Veronica being my daughter. I like the calendars; they show the natural beauty of my daughter and her teammates. As a father, of course I get nervous, but at the same time, I know Veronica is doing what she loves to do and she is good at it. Not only is she a fantastic daughter, she is also a fantastic performer. I’m so honored to have such an amazing person to call my daughter.
Robert: I’m never nervous, but am very proud of her because I know she has accomplished so much. Every time I see her on stage or in a magazine or calendar I am so proud to say that is my daughter and am very proud of her accomplishments. It isn’t difficult at all to know millions are watching her. She always carries herself so well and when I think about it, she has always been like that even when she was younger. I know this is just the beginning for her.
What has your dad and stepdad’s love and support meant to you?
Veronica: All of my dreams, all of my failures and every single experience I have ever encountered, I couldn’t have achieved or overcome if I didn’t have the love and support I get from my father and my stepfather. Ultimately, I think I’m lucky because I have two dads who have supported my dreams and who will continue to support me wholeheartedly in everything I do.